Qatar and the rights of LGBTIQ+ people
LGBTIQ+ people in Qatar are entirely marginalised in many ways. There are multiple elements of Qatari law that make same-sex relations illegal; the penal code sets out offences that are punishable by long jail sentences. These laws directly criminalise loving same-sex relationships.
Recent international reports from, among others, the United Nations show that LGBTIQ+ people have been imprisoned by Qatari forces. There are also reports that highlight the detainment of LGBTIQ+ visitors on arrival into the country or during their stay.
Qatari nationals have spoken openly about the ways in which the LGBTIQ+ community is viewed and treated. It is socially unacceptable to be gay. On the face of it, this is part of the religious orthodoxy of Sharia law, but in fact it is simply the feature of a highly conservative society that the rulers wish to maintain. Families condemn and ostracise those in same-sex relationships, there is little or no sex education within schools, and there are no cultural icons within Qatar who are openly gay.
It is widely known that those suspected of being attracted to the same sex are identified and reported to the police. They are questioned and often subjected to forced conversion therapy in clinics. The referral may come from within family circles, friends or employers.
If the authorities think you are queer your social media will be monitored. There are also examples of ‘honeypot’ operations by the police who set up false romantic liaisons through dating apps and targeted messages.
Public debate about the existence or condition of the LGBTIQ+ community in Qatar is not welcome, it does not take place.
Did you know?
In Qatar, LGBTIQ+ people face:
Imprisonment up to 10 years
Monitoring of their online activity
State-sponsored forced conversion therapy